Myles Taylor (they/them) is a transmasculine poet, organizer, award-winning poetry slam competitor, barista, Emerson College alum, Capricorn-Aquarius cusp, and glitter enthusiast. They run Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and host at the Boston Poetry Slam. Their work can be found in The Shallow Ends, Academy of American Poets, Washington Square Review, Underblong, Crab Fat Magazine, Slamfind, and others. Follow them @mylesdoespoems.
Nearly hollowed by the rough dig
of a dry-swallow, my throat --
countless forced chalks, handfuls of ibuprofen
before I was told the headache was not
an ache at all, but a fire drill, a growth
only the lexapro could knee. The acne pills
as well, their size making friends squirm
but I was well-practiced -- they dropped in
dragging throat cells like DNA found under
fingernails, collections of the fight they put up
every time. This is all to contextualize the doctor’s
confusion when I, who happily thread needles
into my fat to put the boy in me, who spent all
this time filling with medicine, admitted
I could not handle a blood draw. But you’re so
good with needles. It has never been about
the sharp, it’s about the loss. The way my body
hoards whatever I lend it. I collect, you see.
I can control the accumulation, but the exiting,
the removal, is a greater unknown. I am a superstore
inside with a built-in pharmacy. Raised by hoarders,
born of a class of always lesser possession. Not a temple
because nobody else is allowed inside, not even the nurse
who taught me how to inject. I did
my first shot myself. I am a beloved first vehicle.
A meticulous bedroom. I consume and I fill.
I tried it once, okay? I did. Bad enough where the blood
dripped. And I saw it on the carpet and decided that
was the last time. Because that was mine. I put a lot
of work into that blood. So yeah, I absorb like
a pumice stone. I eat frighteningly healthy.
I hold my body tight. I tell myself it will be okay
and I believe myself. I believe myself when I am asking myself,
alone, to take.